Last week I attended a Community Engagement Session of Bass Coast Shire Council and I asked the following question; “Why was the increase in employee costs in the budget for the next three years 3.2 per cent when the EBA (Enterprise Bargaining Agreement) was for 2.5 per cent per annum?”
The answer was there was also an increase of 0.8 per cent per annum due to the increases in employee grades.
Apparently Local Government employees get an increase (obviously 0.8 per cent per annum) because they have gained another year’s experience.
I am unsure whether this was part of the EBA negotiations or not.
The fact remains that council employees will get wage increases of 3.2 per cent per annum for the next three years.
So my question now is did the executives responsible for negotiating the EBA really try to negotiate an EBA for the lowest cost to ratepayers bearing in mind the following information which was available during negotiations.
Wages growth for December Quarter 2015 to March Quarter 2016 was 0.4 per cent which makes the current annual figure 1.6 per cent per annum.
CPI increase from March Quarter 2015 to March Quarter 2016 was 1.3 per cent per annum.
So how on earth can an increase of 3.2 per cent per annum be considered a reasonable outcome?
I wonder if any of the executives who negotiated this EBA live and pay rates in the shire.
Were they aware of the wages increase in March Quarter making the annualised figure 1.6 per per annum and also that the CPI to the end of the March Quarter was 1.3 per cent for the year?
The Employee Cost for the year 2016/2017 is $90,418 for each employee, extracted from the 2016/2017 Budget.
John Swarbrick, Rhyll.